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Understanding the Quality of Birth and Death Registration and Vital Statistics System in Uganda

Principal investigator


Study Number




Low and middle-income countries like Uganda are characterised with high fertility and mortality rates among women and under five children. Additionally, inadequate civil registration and vital statistics systems (CRVS) mean birth and death registration is non-existent or, where registries exist, they are characterised by missing data. Globally, improved CRVS systems have increased demand for quality data because they aid policy formulation and planning to facilitate effective delivery of health and social development programmes. 

In Uganda, according to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, birth registration and death certification plus cause of death reporting are as low as 32% and 24%, respectively. Busoga region is reported to have only 11% registered births. The suboptimal coverage and quality of such data in Uganda directly affects reproductive, maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health policies and interventions targeting these vulnerable groups in Uganda. A number of factors account for low utilization of CRVS systems in Uganda. Population-based household surveys are the major and reliable sources of birth and death registration coverage in low resource settings including Uganda.  Currently, under the Registrations and Persons Act 2015, the National Identification and Registration Authority is responsible for civil registration while vital statistics generation is under the mandate of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.


This study aims at understanding the current CRVS system in Uganda and its quality drivers to provide evidence that will direct appropriate interventions targeting legal, administrative and statistical systems (input, process and outcome) at various levels. It will specifically assess the quality, status, barrier and enablers, lessons learned and opportunities plus potential capabilities for promoting birth and death registration in the country.


Researchers will use mixed methods which include analysis of secondary data, desk reviews and primary data collection through data extraction, as well as key informant interviews and focus group discussions with key players in birth and death registration activities and data validation in Kabale, Kampala, Masaka, Lira and Tororo districts.